Canada’s Lazaridis ScaleUp Programme – based at Wilfrid Laurier University – brings together the most promising scaleup tech companies from across the country and connects them with a network of senior talent from successful firms and customised engagement.
Over the past five years it has selected cohorts of the most promising companies from a diverse range of sectors including AI, medtech, fintech, agritech, tech-enabled retailers and oil and gas for a 12-month scaleup programme of education, peer networking and mentorship.
In 2020 Cohort six met virtually on a monthly basis through the year. For cohort seven, starting in November 2021, the programming will be spread out over the year with shorter virtual meetings twice monthly until these can return to in-person meetings. It is expected that three in-person weekends will occur after the first quarter of 2022.
Since the programme began in 2016, the 62 companies in the first six cohorts have raised a total of CA$1.25bn and created more than 2,088 jobs. The programme’s commitment to diversity is proving increasingly successful. Seven of the ten companies for the next cohort have founders from underrepresented groups (women, black, indigenous, people of colour, LGBTQ2, disabled, or born outside Canada).